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Twitter Reports Stellar Earnings, Stock Jumps 35%

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Twitter [NYSE:TWTR] today reported their earnings for the second quarter of the year, beating out all expectations and further raising their outlook for the next quarter and the whole year as well. The company reported that revenue rose to $312.2 million, up from $139.3 million a year ago, more than double. This is a significant beat of where Twitter had guided as well, as they had guided $270 to $280 million while the Thomson Reuters analyst poll had the average expectation at $283.1 million. However, the company still posted a GAAP net loss of $144.6 million, but most of this has to do with a $158 million charge due to share compensation. Non-GAAP earnings was actually at $14.6 million.

Twitter also guided their revenue and earnings for the third quarter of 2014 upward. They project revenue to be in the range between $330 and $340 million and that EBITDA will be between $40 and $45 million. They did, however, also say that stock-based compensation expenses are expected to be in the range of $180 to $190 million, excluding the impact of equity awards.

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Twitter also said that they added 16 million active monthly users worldwide. The 6.3% growth, which brought the company to 271 million users is up from the 5.8% growth figure from the previous quarter. Analysts had their expectations for growth to be between 8 and 15 million active monthly users, which means that they REALLY beat everyone’s projections. This can likely be tied to Twitter’s incredibly strong mobile presence and their increasing relationships with media and advertisers in ways that their competitors like Facebook simply can’t. This is also a user growth of 24% year over year, which is also quite impressive. A lot of people have been talking about the relevance of Twitter and whether or not they’re stagnating, but today’s earnings clearly indicate that it is quite the opposite.

Twitter also reported that they had revised their outlook for 2014 as a whole. They changed their revenue projections to $1.31 billion to $1.330 billion and their EBITDA to be in the range between $210 million and $230 million. Their expected capital expenditures are projected to be in the range of $330 to $390 million and stock-based compensation is projected to be in the range of a whopping $640 million to $690 million excluding the impact of equity awards that could be granted in the connection with potential future acquisitions.

Overall, things look to be REALLY great for Twitter, better than anyone was really expecting. So much so that the stock is continuing to climb upward, at 35% at the time of writing. Obviously this kind of growth can’t continue forever, but Twitter still needs to obtain GAAP profitability and that will only come once they figure out how to squeeze more ad revenue and other sources of income out of their nearly 300 million audience. Twitter is without a doubt a valuable resource with many people tweeting tons, but the real value will come in promoted Tweets which appear to be fairly well received by many and are not overly intrusive as some had feared. It will be interesting to see if Twitter can pull off back to back earnings beats, but the reality is that they will probably continue to grow at a steady pace and add users and improve profitability. It really helps that most of their users are mobile.